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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this tutorial is to guide you through the steps required to create your own Marks Of Excellence mod using Paint.NET which is a brilliant freeware tool but you could also use Photoshop if you have the .dds plugin. It was originally written and designed for the QSF community but has since been removed from their forums so tweaking it and uploading a new version here. Regardless of your feelings towards the QSF community it's a tutorial that took me a while to put together so no flaming on the tutorial pack content. It's only to give you a hand to make your own. I may update the tutorial pack if I find time to/get bored. CLARIFICATION NOTE: These icons will replace the existing MoE on your tank, NOT 'give you the marks'. You still have to 'earn' them as normal Tools Required: Paint.NET [Download] My pre-made template pack from [here] A creative brain (I know this rules half of you lot out!) STEP 1 This is the most important stage as it's the planning stage. Have a think about what you want to do and source all of the images that you wish to use. I'd also recommend reading all the way through this tutorial to help inspire your creativity. Next thing to do is assess the tutorial pack. Open a Paint.NET window and open the Tutorial Pack, navigate through the folders until you get to three files: gun_china_1.dds gun_china_2.dds gun_china_3.dds There are many ways of doing the next section but for ease in this tutorial drag and drop the gun_china3.dds file into the Paint.NET window that you have open, it should look something like this: STEP 2 Next (again for ease) we need to add a layer; to do this click the 'add layer' button at the bottom of the layer window (if you don't have a layer window open by default press F7). Now your layer window should look like this - This is for 'backup' so that we don't overwrite the original image just yet: drag and drop your new image (or images) into Paint.NET and select the option for OPEN rather than new layer, this is because your file may need conditioning first. If it's a PNG file with an invisible background then skip ahead a step, otherwise follow step 3. STEP 3 For this step I will use another image to show you how to condition files. Open the window (click on the picture up the top of Paint.NET window) to select the image. Thankfully I have sourced an image with a nice plain background, we need to remove this background. Click on the Magic Wand on the tool panel and click on the background, you will see that the background has been completely selected, press the delete key to remove it. If you can't find or see the tool panel then press F5. Your image should now look something more like this: TOOLS GUIDE (click images for larger version) STEP 4 Select your image (ctrl+a) and copy it (ctrl+c) then go back to the first screen you were on (with the three old QSF logos), now select a blank layer (layer 2 should exist as you made it in step 1) - [if you skipped step 2 then drag your image onto the window and select new layer]. It may require re-sizing, to do this (keeping the aspect ratio), hold shift and drag one of the corners to res-size. The image ideally wants to be about the same size as the QSF logo. Now create another two layers, select layer 2 again and copy the layer (ctrl+a then ctrl+c) and paste on the two layers you have created. If you need to see easier then there is a zoom level bar in the bottom right corner with + and - symbols. Select Layer 3 and click the move tool, move the layer so that it is inline with the first of the new images you placed but also covering the center QSF logo, repeat for layer 4 and the third logo. Now select the Background layer and the eraser tool, up the top is now an option for the Brush Width, change this to something large like 60pt. Hold the left mouse button and erase the QSF logos, the other layers should remain untouched. If you rub them out then you have the wrong layer selected! - Just undo and select the background layer properly. If you choose to make icons smaller/larger then make them no bigger than 80x65 or else the symbols will overlap the barrel (fine if you're doing stripes or something) STEP 5 Hopefully you are happy with your results and now have three 'symbols' to replace the marks of excellence, now we need to save the changes. As there are three symbols, you guessed it, this is nationName_3. Click FILE>SAVE AS, then select DirectDraw Surface (DDS) (*.dds) as the 'Save As Type' and call this gun_china_3 to replace the existing one (or save in another location). A warning will come up about flattening the image, click ok and it's done!! NOTE: As of 9.14 you will need to configure .dds file as DXTY5 and generate MipMaps Next get the eraser tool and change the brush width (top bar) to something suitable like 60. Erase the picture furthest on the right then save as a DDS file again but this time call it gun_china_2. Repeat again until you have one image left and you guessed it again, save as dds called gun_china_1. STEP 6 Now comes the long and arduous part. At time of writing there are 8 tech trees now 9 tech trees in the game, which are as follows: china czech france_uk germany japan sweden usa ussr Noticed that there are only 8 lines? That's because France and UK share the marks... [example: gun_france_uk_3.dds] These are CASE SENSITIVE. You have already created china_1 through to china_3 and you guessed it... you have to copy the files you have created and replace china with the nation/tech tree name. For those thinking 'what if I only want x symbol for x nation and a different one for y nation?' - well I salute you for thinking outside of the box. All you have to do is run through the whole lot again but save as what nation you wish to use it for. All identical nation tanks in game will have the symbol you define, it won't affect just your tank. You can set different symbols for all of the nations in game. FOLDER STRUCTURE You will need to create a folder structure to place the files into, the structure is as follows: gui>maps>vehicles>decals>insignia or just overwrite the one in the template pack. To install, this gui folder resides in res_mods/x.x.x/ (x.x.x being your client version number, e.g. 0.9.1) IDEAS AND HINTS Bear in mind that the images do not have to be the same and have some fun with it, here are some ideas that I had (and may still do if I get bored). Marks in order (first, second, third) That shows progressive skill (medium tank, heavy tank, helicopter for elite). Look up guides if you are unsure on how to use Paint.NET as you can do all sorts of things such as colour replacement but I (personally) would keep things simple with singular colours where possible i.e. change the colour of the ideas above to be white for visibility. You can also apply a similar idea so that the image changes depending on how many marks the player has... i.e make both images on _2 files the tank and all three on the _3 files the helicopter etc. Another idea came to me from ADVANCED For those feeling brave and wanting to make 'weathered' marks like the default ones you will need a more advanced picture editing package such as Photoshop that supports custom brushes/erasers. Download a grunge type brush Set as eraser and set opacity and flow to around 70% and 50% respectively Adjust size of brush as required and click to 'fade' certain parts of the image I won't go into too much detail on the above as this was designed to be a 'free' and easy to do mod, those who have Photoshop will most likely know how to do this kind of thing anyway. COMMUNITY CREATED CONTENT NOTE: Since 9.14 some of these may no longer work as they require 're-saving' as DXTY5 with generated MipMaps Here I will place some of the work that YOU the community have done using this tutorial. If you wish for your work to be shown then let me know and I will add it here. I'm happy to host your files too so drop them to me in a PM or whatever To install these place the gui folder in res_mods/x.x.x/ (x.x.x being your client version number, e.g. 0.9.1). Delete any country that you wish to keep as standard etc. 'Unicorn Dickbutt' - by _Goliard Download Link Picture: Spoiler 'Larry The Lobster - LAVA Mascot' by It's_Matra LAVA Expert: Download Link (Only those with 3 marks see lobsters) LAVA Normal: Download Link (all MoEs are Larry) Pictures Spoiler (click to enlarge) shot_183.jpg shot_184.jpg